30 most controversial Bill Maher moments

Real Time with Bill Maher - courtesy of HBO
Real Time with Bill Maher - courtesy of HBO /
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23. Zach Galifianakis sparks up a joint on Real Time

In 2010, the state of California was holding an upcoming vote on whether to legalize and regulate marijuana. Bill Maher, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization, naturally held a discussion on Real Time about the issue. One of his guests, comedy actor Zach Galifianakis, is an advocate for legalization, and shows up on the show to argue his pro-pot stance.

Galifianakis first talks about how perhaps people are afraid to jump on the pot bandwagon because it’s still “taboo”. Before the other guests can formulate a full response, the comic actor then literally pulls a joint out of his coat pocket, along with a lighter. The crowd knows what’s coming, as they start to laugh right away. Galifianakis then actually sticks the doobie in his mouth and lights up, right there on the show in front of everyone.

The guests and audience alike all erupt with laughter. This seems to be some sort of comedy trick to get Galifianakis some laughs. But then he passes the joint over to a fellow guest, conservative journalist Margaret Hoover, who sniffs the joint. With one whiff, she confirms that it is, in fact, the wacky tobacky.